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Culture formulations that can be ordered

  1. Dried whole inoculum (roots/spores/hyphae/growth medium) in quantities of 175-200 mL transferred to sealed zip-loc plastic bags and shipped via UPS in a styrafoam box or their proprietary pacs.
  2. Cleaned and washed spores extracted from a specified culture and mailed in 2 mL screw-top vials containing either sterile distilled water (2-day shipments) or in moistened sterile sand (> 2 day shipments). Number of spores per vial are 800-1000 for large-spored species (e.g. Gigaspora) and 1000-1200 for small-spored glomoid and acaulosporoid species. The image below pictures about 12,000 extracted and cleaned spores of A. morrowiae collected for a special purpose.
  3. Bulk inoculum (one liter or more) of similar composition to (1) above, but consisting of a customized mix of isolates of different species for immediate use in experiments. In this category, advance notice is required to define germplasm requirements and the specific mix requested.
whole inoculum  cleaned spores (12,000)
whole inoculum (above left), cleaned spores (12,000) (above right)

I. Whole Inoculum

The cost of each culture is summarized here. A shipping charge also now is added because of rising costs, especially overseas. We mail packages via United Parcel Service both within and outside the United States so we can monitor the shipment. Also, UPS is the ONLY carrier that will transport living fungal stocks outside the U.S. The cost for bulk mixes will vary with availability and usage, and thus must be negotiated at the time of the request. For high school and undergraduate students involved in non-thesis research, or for graduate students who do not have external funding, inocula can be provided at a reduced charge together with shipping fees (a letter from advisor/mentor is required to stipulate need).

Once a request is received, stocks are checked immediately and if sufficient quantity of inoculum is available, an email will be sent confirming availability. Ideally, we would like to have a requisition or purchase order in our hands at the time of shipment so that the P.O. number can be cross-referenced on the invoice (mailed with the shipment). Some overseas accounts have been delinquent, and we do not have the time or resources to function as a collection agency. Therefore, prepayment is now required for all orders outside of the United States. Once payment is received, inocula will be mailed usually within 72 hrs. Some institutions are slow to pay, a delay that in some cases is > three months. If that happens, then negotiations for cultures will have to be redone at the time of payment because stocks may be too low to ship (especially for high-demand strains) and they are being recultured.

If stocks are too low to mail out at the time of a request, an e-mail will be issued appraising the user of the situation. At that time, substitute cultures will be recommended if inocula are needed quickly.

II. Living spores

Vials of cleaned spores contains far fewer infective units that whole inoculum, but purity and identity are guaranteed. This option has been used by molecular biologists and other researchers who do not have the resources or the time and experience to extract and collect spores for study or for experiments.

The cost of each vial is identical to that of whole inoculum because much more labor and time is involved preparing the material. Requests involving spores used in teaching will be charged a reduced rate if support funds are not available.